The first VIEWTIFUL JOE came out of nowhere and blew us away, it was one of the most intense, difficult, and all around excellent side-scrolling games in recent memory. After finally releasing the former GameCube exclusive on the PS2 earlier this year, versions of the sequel are now available on both consoles.
You'll play as Joe, a guy who is a movie star and gets to do all of the typical fighting moves like punching and kicking. The gameplay aspect that sets VIEWTIFUL JOE apart is the VFX, which essentially work to slow down and speed up time, as well as give Joe the ability to perform special moves. This is exactly the same as it was in the first game, and Joe really doesn't gain too much new something that will anger fans of the first game.
Sylvia, Joe's girlfriend, gets the new ability. You can swap between the two characters at a touch of a button and Sylvia has laser pistols as well as the new VGX move Replay. This causes what you did last to repeat itself three more times. Besides this new move, there hasn't been really any innovation ot the gameplay.
That essentially makes the game a mere extension of the first you just use the powers to fight and solve puzzles. It's sort of a VIEWTIFUL JOE level pack if you will, but even then, a VIEWTIFUL JOE level-pack qualifies as a contender for some Game of the Year Awards.
What does change up quite a bit is the amount and complexity of the puzzles in the game. It's actually pretty refreshing to have so many situations that require something besides combat. The puzzles are challenging, and require some tricky timing in a lot of situations (which can be frustrating as sometimes you'll think the correct solution can't be accomplished). Of course, this sums up the game in its entirety. It's not about mashing buttons it's all about timing and using the right moves against the right enemies. It is a thinking man's side-scroller, just as the original VIEWTIFUL JOE was.
As you might expect, Joe gets to head through all sorts of different environments that resemble different genres of films. Nothing is blatantly ripped off, but you can tell where the inspirations came from. The game also adds a lot of its image by being so beautiful to watch. The GameCube version is more visually exciting than the PlayStation 2 version. Nevertheless, both versions are like watching an animated film and its one of the most stylish games on any console.
The music of the game will remind you of the original as well. This is mainly because it seems chunks of the original soundtracks have been transferred over from the original. The sound effects are great, but the voice acting is too corny for me (like in all Capcom games.
Not much as changed since the first VIEWTIFUL JOE, but anyone who enjoyed the first is going to want to try out the second even without many additions. If you've never played VIEWTIFUL JOE games, it is worth a try, and if you have, you know what to do.